The demise of King Saul is an unfortunate story of how insecurities, disobedience and unchecked jealousy can overshadow our decisions and blind us to truth.
As recorded in the Old Testament, King Saul’s enemies should have been the Philistines – but he made David’s successes over Philistine armies the point of hostility.
We must honour those who have been loyal to us, whether in private or political life.
King Saul’s personal dislike and negative emotions towards David dominated the remainder of his life and reign. Here is how it happened.
King Saul created an imaginary enemy in David, spending his time and resources attacking him, instead of focusing on the real enemy, the Philistines. He also neglected his responsibilities as king and leader of Israel.
When the tables were turned and David had the opportunity to kill Saul, he chose to honour him and his authority as king, every single time. King Saul is a reminder that when we try to bring others down, the only one that falls is us. When we choose the wrong enemies, we bear the consequences and fail to benefit from the strengths and talents the other person possesses. David was an incredible warrior, able to defeat the Philistines in battle. However, King Saul’s jealousy prevented him from maximising on David’s gifting for the betterment of the whole community.
Failing to properly recognise who our true enemies are occurs too often in society and in our families. We misinterpret our colleagues, spouses, children and relatives as the enemy and we put others in the position of divided loyalties. Prince Jonathan had the terrible task of choosing between his best friend and his father, Saul. If we are not careful we can find ourselves on the same self-destructive path as King Saul. So let’s pause for a moment and think: Who are our real enemies?
In my short political life as a Liberal senator, I would say the real enemies are policies that don’t acknowledge we are created in the image of God, as well as policies that create victims, destroy initiative and fetter freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These are our true enemies.
As leaders in our private and public capacity, we must recognise and appreciate the talents of those in our lives and those on our side. We must create room for our colleagues, spouses, children and relatives to shine, without letting animosity and contempt take root. We must honour those who have been loyal to us, whether in private or political life.
I believe that our nation is at a critical crossroad in its development. We can still take the path of love, faith and hope, but we must choose our enemies wisely on the way.
Lucy Gichuhi is a Liberal senator for South Australia.